First brought to the market by Australian Arthur Clifford Howard in the early 1920s, the tilling machine ranks among the most commonplace tools used in agriculture. The tilling machine offers an alternative method of turning soil to the classic plough. Sometimes it may be used to complement the use of a plough.
Most commonly fitted to the three-point hydraulic system of a tractor, the tilling machine is highly effective even in root-filled soil, breaking it up without any problem, and can also be employed for light to mid-density soil. To this end the tilling blades, installed in a horizontal wave on the outermost corners of the machine and enclosed in a protective housing, cut earth from the ground and throw it against a deflector plate. Loosened in this way, the earth is now also simultaneously blended and crushed. The tilling machine is driven by the tractor-motor and steered by the attached PTO shaft. The potential depth of earth-processing varies according to the size of the milling drum from 15 to 30 cm.
Even organic material in the soil can be processed by the tilling machine and will be broken down even more rapidly thanks to the increased oxygen-flow caused by the machine. Alongside traditional tilling machines there are a few special versions, such as the reverse rotary cutter for instance. This turns in the opposite direction to the wheels of the tractor and separates stony particles and plant remains from fine soil with high efficiency. There are also special crop-orientated tilling machines, like the potato ridge-cutter. Kuhn, Krone, Howard and Maschio are but a few of the renowned tilling machine producers.